Coach Price urges support for Jamaica's beach soccer programme
Coach of Jamaica's Beach Soccer team, Andrew Price, is urging corporate Jamaica to support the programme, following the nation's eight place finish in the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship, which ended in El Salvador nearly a week ago.
"We need the required support for the beach soccer programme as I believe it is a sport that we can do well in. If we put some more focus on beach soccer we can do well," Price told The Gleaner after the team arrived home late Sunday night.
"It also has economic spin-offs for the country, if we can properly organise the sport here," he pointed out. "We could attract more tourists here."
Reflecting on the championship, Price said the team performed well, despite the short preparation period of six weeks.
"When we look at the level of preparation in six weeks, this ahead of the tournament that served as a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup qualification. Our last game in beach soccer was two years ago against Puerto Rico. We did well to reach the quarter-final knockout stage," said Price, who is also coach of Boys' Town FC's Premier League team and general manager of the Premier League Clubs Association.
He added: "When we look at everything during the championship, we had regular suspensions of players that led to a depleted team and tiredness came in during the games," he said.
Jamaica participated at the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship in Group A, where they defeated Puerto Rico (7-3) and Belize (8-5), then lost 4-7 to hosts El Salvador after leading 4-0. However, Jamaica advanced in second place from the group to the knockout stage.
The team then went down 3-7 to the United States in the quarter-finals and finished the tournament in eighth position for the first time, after going down 7-9 to The Bahamas.
Mexico defeated Costa Rica 4-0 in the final to lift the title. Both teams will represent the region at the 2015 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which runs from July 9-19 in Portugal.